Influence of a God
Gods of Earth Series Book 1
by Nina R. Schluntz
Genre: LGBTQ SciFi Fantasy Romance
Jesse has a type-the heartbroken. He doesn’t hide this fact, he’s even tattooed a damaged heart on his chest. His partners love the people who left them, which means there’s no fear of them getting attached to him. He showers them with the affection they have been deprived of and in return, he gets no string attached hook-ups.
Except for Ben.
No matter what Jesse does, when he gets drunk, its always Ben’s porch he ends up on. Which is fine, because Ben is still deeply in love with his ex-wife, even though she’s already remarried.
It might have all stayed fine, if Ben hadn’t met Cooper, the twelve-year-old stepson of Ben’s ex. He knows things he shouldn’t. He has a weird quirk of disappearing for hours. He even predicts future events with uncanny luck. And Cooper has a plan for Jesse. He wants himself and Ben’s daughter to live with Jesse and Ben. Which is a problem, because Jesse doesn’t do relationships.
To Cooper that just means Jesse needs to learn things the hard way.
“You shouldn’t want him to love you,” Jesse muttered to himself. He dropped the cigarette that he didn’t remember smoking and smashed the burning embers out with his heel. He went in the back door of the house. He could already hear the woman—the Nicole—speaking to Ben.
“I can’t believe you let some whore into this house with our daughter,” Nicole said. Jesse reached the end of the hall and stood in the doorway to the living room.
Nicole was wearing a large winter coat, so Jesse was unable to properly assess if she was fat. He had really hoped she was a fat, ugly thing. Her hair was cut into a cute bob. Her face was, well plain, but then again, she’d been woken at one in the morning, so who bothered with make-up at that hour?
Ben was standing behind the kitchen island, using it as a shield to protect himself from her. He’d never looked so small before. He was a pathetic puppy who had disappointed, yet again, the woman he loved.
“Who are you?” Nicole asked. She put her hands on her hips and aimed her dagger-filled gaze at him.
“This is Jesse,” Ben said, speaking meekly. “He came over to—”
Jesse didn’t want to listen to whatever lie Ben had in mind. “I’m the whore,” Jesse said. “The whore who scared your little girl.” He turned his head so the head of the snake on his neck was visible to her.
Nicole’s eyes bulged. A look of disgust passed on her face. She looked back at Ben.
“You’re gay.” The words didn’t come from Nicole. They came from another member of the party that Jesse hadn’t even noticed. A boy, early puberty age, maybe twelve, sat on the couch to Jesse’s left. He was a slender thing, a stick of a kid who was swallowed up in his big winter coat. He was pale and so still, Jesse wondered if he had actually been the one to speak. The kid sat there, an amused look on his face. “Ben is gay,” the boy repeated, speaking the words while Jesse looked at him, confirming that he was indeed the speaker.
“And you are?” Jesse asked.
“Cooper,” the kid said. He nodded at Jesse. “And you’re a sinner.”
“This whole family is full of flattery,” Jesse said. He crossed his arms and looked at Ben. “You have two kids?”
“She’s my stepmom,” Cooper said. His tone was even. There was a hint of amusement, but otherwise it stayed emotionless.
“I can’t believe you let our little girl see you having sex with a man,” Nicole said.
“She didn’t see us doing shit,” Jesse said. He stepped to block the entire hall as she moved to pass him.
“The tattoos,” Ben said. He took a small step forward. “The snake and… she saw the Jungle Book the other night and…”
“Tattoos? Plural? What else is there?” Nicole asked. She looked Jesse over from head to toe.
“There’s a lot more,” Jesse said. “Want me to show you?”
A wave of revulsion crossed her face and she waved him away. “No, I do not. Let me pass. I want to see Maggie.”
He stepped to the side and let her dart down the hall. Ben quickly followed after her. He paused as he reached Jesse. “I told you to leave.”
“I’m not leaving you to deal with this by yourself,” Jesse said.
“You aren’t helping,” Ben said. The door to Maggie’s room opened and Ben slipped past Jesse to assist in calming their daughter. Jesse looked to the other occupant left in the room. The kid—Cooper—was staring at him.
“Are you a God-fearing man?” Cooper asked. He pushed the hood of his coat down and short blond hair jutted out. The hair was so light it almost looked white. The whole white hair/pale skin thing might not have looked bad on him, except for the dark brown eyes. It made him look—odd. As if all the pigment in his body were focused at that one point of his body.
“No,” Jesse said. “Are you?”
“No,” Cooper said. “Why aren’t you?”
“You first,” Jesse said. He walked into the kitchen to look for some aspirin.
“My answer won’t be one you’d like,” Cooper said. “Did you reject God because he doesn’t approve of your way of living?”
Jesse pulled out a bottle of over-the-counter pain relievers and popped the cap. He shook out four pills. “Which way of living is that?”
“All of it,” Cooper said. “The premarital sex, excess use of drugs, alcohol, lying with a man, adultery, marking your body with—”
“Whoa kid, that’s a lot of judgment. You just met me.”
“It’s not judgment if I’m simply listing the facts. You have done and will continue to do those things. I am asking if you have forsaken God to free yourself from those rules so you can live a lifestyle that brings you immediate gratification.”
“You don’t know that those are facts.”
“You deny them?” Cooper’s eyes went to the floor. “You lie. To everyone, even yourself.” His eyes shot back up and looked into Jesse’s. Those dark brown, practically black, eyes seemed to look directly into Jesse’s soul.
“Why are you here, tonight? In this house?” Jesse asked.
“I think I’m here to meet you,” Cooper said. “But to answer it in the way you meant, I’m not allowed to be home alone. Nicole had to bring me.”
“And why’s that? Why can’t you be home alone?”
“I have a tendency to not stay where people leave me,” Cooper said.
Jesse couldn’t help but grin. This kid was amusing. Egotistical and fighting a hell of a god complex, but still amusing.
Nicole came into the room, holding Maggie to her chest. The girl was bundled in a coat, her face buried against her mother. Ben came after, holding a backpack with a Hello Kitty symbol on it. A little blue bunny’s ears were visible under Maggie’s blond locks.
“We’re leaving,” Nicole said. “Cooper, take the bag.”
“The roads have gotten icier,” Cooper said. “It’s not safe. We should wait.”
Nicole aimed her daggers at Cooper. “I’m the adult, Cooper, and I say we are leaving. Take the bag and get in the car.”
Cooper rose and took the bag from Ben. “For the record, Jesse,” Cooper said. “I don’t view the things you do as sins. And you should forgive yourself, for Angie.”
A chill ran up Jesse’s spine. How the hell did the kid know about Angie?
“Sorry. He does that,” Nicole said. She freed an arm and pushed Cooper toward the door.
“He should start a psychic show. He’d be good,” Jesse said.
Prophet of a God
Gods of Earth Series Book 2
Isaiah has heard voices in his head his entire life, so it’s ironic when his brother declares that he has been chosen as a prophet for a god. Isaiah assists his brother in his search for the messiah and quickly discovers the god chose his brother in an effort to get closer to Isaiah.
The messiah isn’t shy at all in declaring that Isaiah is fated to be with him. But the voice in Isaiah’s head is skeptical and easily finds errors in the god’s claims.
Cooper is a god, one of many on Earth, but he is approved to pose as a messiah. He warps the path he’s supposed to follow in an effort to get closer to a man that is supposed to be his lover for only one night. Doing so has consequences, because Isaiah is not the man he expected. For one, he cuts himself in an effort to deal with the darkness of his past. And second, there’s the pesky sprite that loiters on Isaiah’s shoulder, whispering advice that Cooper would rather it didn’t.
Muse of a God
Gods of Earth Series Book 3
Lawrence, who prefers to go by Laurie, is one of those gifted performers that everyone envies because he always gets the lead role.
Carter is a god with a shaded past. He created a planet… and then helped parasite type symbiotes destroy it. His current time on Earth is to prove he is rehabilitated.
But he is good at manipulation. He wants to stay close to the two scientists who will discover a means to save Earth once Carter brings the symbiotes to it. One of them is Laurie’s roommate in college. Which means Laurie is Carter’s best means to befriending the scientists.
A not so chance encounter and some mocking, gets Laurie to join the lacrosse team Carter is on. Seducing him is easy enough, but Laurie quickly proves refreshingly unpredictable and his quick tongue makes Carter reconsider his choices to stay loyal to his previous love who controls the symbiotes.
But can Carter’s growing affection toward Laurie be enough to convince him to save Earth rather than destroy it?
Enemy of a God
Gods of Earth Series Book 4
The world is ending and the gods are abandoning Earth. A strange woman arrives at the same time the parasite symbiotes do. She has no memory of who she is and the question remains, is she an ally to save earth or the enemy of the gods here to destroy them?
Jayson is the first to find her and he forms an immediate friendship with her. They are both outcasts with a dark past. He makes a deal with a god, Cooper, in an attempt to learn more about his alien friend. He doesn’t expect to fall in love with Cooper and worse, learn that his alien friend must die in order to save Earth.
Symbiote of a God
Gods of Earth Series Book 5
Stephen, Nick, and Lawrence have been best friends since college. Stephen and Nick are scientists, tasked with finding a cure to the symbiotes which have invaded Earth and use humans as hosts. Removing the symbiote kills the human, and a human doesn’t live long once infected.
Months after the initial invasion, Lawrence becomes infected and seeks the help of his friends. The rush to find a cure is now paramount, but something is strange about Lawrence’s infection. He is still in control of his body, and he can now understand the symbiotes. Nick and Stephen realize he may hold the cure to finally ridding the world of the symbiotes.
Resurrection of a God
Gods of Earth Series Book 6
Earth is the second planet Carter has created, and now the same symbiotes that destroyed his first planet, are here, destroying Earth. Afraid he will only aide in Earth’s destruction, since it’s his soulmate and lover behind the invasion, he goes into hiding.
Jayson knows Carter is the only god who can save Earth and he is done waiting for him to come back. He resurrects the god and saves the planet, but its something not just any human can do. Jayson realizes there’s more to his relationship with Carter than he thought. He’d assumed he was Cooper’s soulmate, he loves Cooper, but when he keeps running into Carter he realizes the truth. A god has a different soulmate on every planet, and on Earth, he is Carter’s soulmate.
But Carter doesn’t want him. His soulmate from his first planet was destructive and Carter fears what Jayson will become if he bonds with him. Jayson has to convince the god that he is different, and that your past does not determine your future.
Nina Schluntz is a native to rural Nebraska. In her youth, she often wrote short stories to entertain her friends. Those ideas evolved into the novels she creates today.
Her husband continues to ensure her stories maintain a touch of realism as she delves in the science fiction and fantasy realm. And their kitty, a rescued Abyssinian, is always willing to stay up late to provide inspiration.
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